Sunday, May 31, 2009

Make Twitterers of All Nations

The first idea I read about wasn't so bad. In fact, I thought about giving it a try. The 9Marks blog challenged its readers to express the gospel in 140 characters or less - as a twitter message.If nothing else, it would give twitterers a chance to articulate the gospel concisely while possibly solidifying its truth in their minds.

But what followed was something I wasn't ready for.

Time Magazine ran a piece last week about how some churches are allowing - no - encouraging congregants to tweet during the morning worship service. Several churches around the country have upped the band-width in the auditorium, tweaked the projector and displayed anyone and everyone's tweets throughout the announcements, music and message. "Why tempt people with short attention spans with such distractions?", the article wondered. "Because Twitter is hot."

What?

Maybe Pastor John Voelz from Westwinds Community Church in MI expressed it better: We're looking to "make [church] not suck".Well there you go folks. We finally found the answer! Forget discipleship. Forget face-to-face fellowship. Forget studying the Bible during morning worship.

Sure, you could make the case that if people are tweeting during the message they are actively listening. Perhaps. But for every "nothing u do 4 the lord is in vain" tweet you also have "Nice shirt JVo".

What bothers me is that all of a sudden everyone is a preacher. Everybody's voice can be heard these days. And there's a place for that. But not during the morning teaching. Can't we sit still and listen for 30 consecutive minutes like big congregants?

I grew up learning that we should be fed during our weekly meetings. If all the congregation is doing is 'feeding' others with bitesize tweets, our churches are going to be filled with bitesize twitterers - twits.

2 comments:

JVo said...

Hey, man. If you really want the whole story on how we use Twitter you should read the posts on my blog that date back to June of last year. It's not as simple and "trendy" as it looks in the TIME article (although they did a great job) and God has done some great things. Do a little more homework. My blog is at http://www.johnvoelz.com. It wasn't an experiment in cool. It wasn't because Twitter is "hot" that we first tried this (that was their words). It was much deeper and the whole story is very good. Peace.

Jeremy said...

Join the discussion about twittering in church!

Go here to find out more about JVo: http://johnvoelz.com/

Or here to read what John Piper has to say:http://www.desiringgod.org/Blog/1828_More_on_Not_Using_Twitter_During_Worship_Services/

Or here to find out how Josh Harris feels: http://www.joshharris.com/2009/05/should_we_use_twitter_during_c.php